Favorite Places in Maine: Roque Bluffs State Park

Roque Bluffs State Park.
Roque Bluffs State Park.
Posted May 04, 2011, at 2:33 p.m.

Roque Bluffs State Park is a seaside treasure-trove tucked into a  sweeping crescent of Englishman Bay that truly remains undiscovered by the masses. Beachcombers or those enjoying the spectacular sunrise from the beach often find themselves experiencing the calm beauty of Roque Bluffs in solitude.

This Down East park, which is bounded by amazing drifts of wild roses and blueberry bushes, offers something for everyone: a sand and pebble beach, rocky cliffs, a freshwater pond and five hiking trails that take in old-growth orchards, forest and shore.

The park was created by glacial sediment and includes more than 270 acres on Schoppee Point, south of Machias, with the beach facing east and on the western side, the 60-acre Simpson Pond. Kayaks can be rented on-site to explore the pond, which can be a warm respite from the bracing ocean water. The pond is stocked with both brook and brown trout.

Birds and other wildlife are plentiful throughout the park, especially on the 6-mile trail network that includes the rocky coast at Great Cove and Pond Cove. The details of the five hiking trails — with the longest loop about 4 miles long — can be found at Roque Bluffs State Park trail map at Maine Trail Finder.

The park’s admission is just $3 for the day and includes a full playground, bathroom facilities and picnic areas. Trash must be carried out, and bring your own drinking water — there is none at the park. Follow signs from U.S. 1 in Jonesboro or Machias to Roque Bluffs. Although the beach and trails remain open year-round, the park’s main areas, parking lot and restrooms remain gated until May 15. For more information, go to www.state.me.us/doc/parks.

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